The Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing (WOW) of Griffith University hosts biannual symposiums, affectionately known as wEDGE: workshops in Equity, Diversity and Gender in Employment.  The workshops promote discussion among scholars and practitioners interested in related workplace issues of national and international importance.

Dr Susan Ressia

Dr Susan Ressia, a Lecturer within the Department of Employment Relations and Human Resources at Griffith University, has been an active participant in the wEDGE seminars every year.  Her current research interests include a focus on graduate employability and examining the effects and impact of working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Ressia is co-author of Employment Relations: An Integrated Approach (2nd Edn) and Work in the 21st Century: How do I Log on?. She has published in Gender, Work and Organization, the Asia-Pacific Journal of Human Resources and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal.

I was introduced to wEDGE back in 2009, by Professor Glenda Strachan, when we began a series of roundtable events that focused on equity, gender and diversity issues in employment relations and management. It was fertile ground for developing research as then I was a PhD student interested in understanding the struggles of skilled migrant women who were trying to find work in the local labour market in Brisbane. The workshop has developed overtime and welcomes attendance and participation from local and international academics, industry and research students.

wEDGE continues to be an excellent forum for presenting research, sharing ideas and receiving feedback in a supportive and collegial environment. I have presented my research many times, and I have had the opportunity to network with industry, which has provided opportunities for industry partnerships to undertake research, such as the recent work undertaken with the Queensland Farmers’ Federation focusing on the leadership potential of Queensland’s farm businesswomen. I am currently supervising two doctoral students myself, who are progressing research on diversity policy within organisations and the impact this has for skilled migrants progressing their careers (Rosa Faaliyat), and a research project on the labour market integration of Middle-Eastern and North African migrants (Negar Faaliyat), who have also presented their work to wEDGE, continuing the excellent and stimulating research focusing on gender, equity and diversity.

Photo from 2017 wEDGE seminar

Although our April wEDGE was postponed due to the new complexities of hosting seminars during COVID-19, we were able to hold the seminar last week via Microsoft Teams.

It was an inspiring day of presentations focused on exploring the complexities of diversity in contemporary society.  The theme attracted presenters who showcased a wide range of research exploring the history of this topic and innovative opportunities for further growth. Our keynote speaker, Dr Mary Crawford, AM of QUT, was made a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her services to women 2020. 

Many thanks to our presenters Mary Crawford, Maria Khan, Suzanne Moloney, Kerrin Watter and Purnima Nandy and all those who participated!

If you couldn’t make it, you can view the presentations online.

Dr Mary Crawford AM, Queensland University of Technology: Social norms, gender inequality and STEM

Maria Khan, Queensland University of Technology: A lack of diversity in leadership? Australian media framing of women leaders

Maria Khan

Suzanne Moloney, University of Southern Queensland: The gendered dimensions of retirement transition

Suzanne Moloney

Kerrin Watter, Clinical Lead, ABI TRS: Developing early vocational rehabilitation services to support adults with brain injury with return to work goals

Purnima Nandy, Griffith University – A systematic literature review on emotional intelligence, cultural intelligence and leadership diversity